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Yellowstone National Park Katie Fehribach, Dave Luketic, Maureen McBride, and Erik Elam.

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Presentation on theme: "Yellowstone National Park Katie Fehribach, Dave Luketic, Maureen McBride, and Erik Elam."— Presentation transcript:

1 Yellowstone National Park Katie Fehribach, Dave Luketic, Maureen McBride, and Erik Elam

2 Location  Yellowstone National Park is located in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana   It spans 3,472 square miles   96% of the park is located in Wyoming   Another 3% is in Montana   And 1% is in Idaho MM

3 First and oldest National Park

4 Geography The continental divide of North America runs diagonally through the southwestern part of the park The park sits high upon a plateau and is nearly surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides of the Middle Rocky Mountains The major feature of the Yellowstone Plateau is the Yellowstone Caldera, which is nearly filled with volcanic debris. Within the caldera lies most of Yellowstone Lake which is the largest high- elevation lake in North America MM

5  The park is famous for its various geysers, hot springs, and other geothermal features --and is home to grizzly bears, wolves, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk. It is the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the largest intact temperate zone ecosystems remaining on the planet.  Long before any recorded human history in Yellowstone, a massive volcanic eruption spewed an immense volume of ash that covered all of the western U.S., much of the Midwest, northern Mexico and some areas of the eastern Pacific Coast. The eruption dwarfed that of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 and left a huge caldera.  The park was named for the yellow rocks seen in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone - a deep gash in the Yellowstone Plateau that was formed by floods during previous ice ages and by river erosion from the Yellowstone River. MM

6 Mountain Ranges that Surround the National Park: * Gallatin Range (to the north-west * Beartooth Mountains (to the north) * Absaroka Mountains (south-east corner) * Teton Mountains (to the south) * Madison Range (to the west) MM

7 Some things to do… Backpacking and Backcountry Camping Yellowstone has a designated backcountry campsite system, where each campsite has a maximum limit for the number of people allowed per night. The maximum stay per campsite varies from one to three nights per trip. Biking Boating Fishing Horseback Riding Picnicking Hiking

8 History of Yellowstone National Park  Timeline of Yellowstone  THE ICE AGE: 300,00 to 8,500 Years Ago  Three glaciers swept through leaving behind the present landscape.  This ice slowly melted around 15,000 years ago  The melted ice left behind broad hills, lake sediments of silt, sand, and gravel, large river valleys.  Yellowstone Hotspot  Located under the eastern Snake River Plain  The volcanic activity in Yellowstone also added to it unique features and landscape  Caldara Formed 2 Million to 600,000 Years Ago  A huge volcanic blast created the Yellowstone Caldera, an enormous crater more than 1,000 square miles in area and 1,000 feet deep.

9 History Of Yellowstone National Park  The Native American Minnetaree tribe called the river "Mi tsi a da zi," which means "Rock Yellow River.“  Yellowstone is historically credited to the Native Americans who lived in and around the park area.  The Yellowstone River has high yellow rock cliffs along its banks in the northern area of the present day park.  French fur trappers translated this to "Yellow Stone." and Yellowstone was named.

10 History of Yellowstone National Park  Long before any recorded human history in Yellowstone, a massive volcanic eruption spewed an immense volume of ash that covered all of the western U.S. The eruption dwarfed that of Mt. St. Helens in  This eruption formed the many beautiful geological features formed what is present day On March 1, President Ulysses Grant signed into existence the world's first national park.  "set apart as a public park or pleasuring ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people”  Yellowstone National Park at first was 2.2 million acres of wilderness The Lacey Act was passed by Congress, giving full protection to wildlife in Yellowstone Park The east boundary and northwest corner of the Park were enlarged

11 Geologic Features Geysers Hot Springs Mud Pots Fumaroles Rivers

12 Geysers Geyser Basins 1) Norris Geyser Basin 2) Upper Geyser Basin 3) West Thumb 4) Midway 5) Lower Famous Geysers 1)Old Faithful 2)Steamboat Geyser 3)Euchinus Geyser 4)Great Fountain Geyser 5)Castle Geyser

13 How Do Geysers Work?  Geysers need water, heat and pressure to work.  A geyser is a hole in the ground that often releases bursts of steam and hot water.  When water seeps into the ground it can get heated up deep beneath the earths surface by boiling hot liquid rock – magma.  When water gets heated it expands and rises. The water particles move around really quickly and the water rushes to escape.  When the water finds a place to escape out of the ground it usually does it in a rush and that’s when a geyser is formed

14 Hot Springs  Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces Travertine Limestone

15 How a Hot Spring Works

16 Fumeroles  Steam Vents Black Growler Steam Vent

17 Mud Pots  Indian, Artist, and Fountain Paint Pots  What Causes Mud Pots

18 Rivers and their Features -Yellowstone River -Firehole River -Gibbon River

19 Wildlife  The Grizzly Bear is a powerful predator, capable of out sprinting a horse, and weighing as much as pounds. Grizzlies are omnivorous, meaning they eat both meat and plants. In Yellowstone, grizzlies feed on elk, trout, bison carrion, pinenuts, grasses, roots, and berries.  The elk is the most abundant of the big game animals of Yellowstone Park. Oftentimes reaching the size of a large horse, elk can be seen throughout Yellowstone year- around. The cows and calves oftentimes travel in large groups of a hundred or more during the summer months, while the males tend to travel by themselves or in very small groups, feeding on grasses and tree twigs.

20  Moose browse on twigs and leaves. Willows are an important food source, and moose also feed on submerged aquatic plants. Moose are dark in color ranging from brown to black. The moose also has long legs which are an adaptation to the thick marshes where it feeds and to a habitat that is covered by deep snow much of the year.  The bison (often referred to as buffalo) is truly a majestic animal. An adult bull bison may be six feet tall at the shoulder and weigh 2,000 pounds. Females look like the males except that they are smaller and have more slender horns.

21 Undoubtedly, one of the more popular species now found in Yellowstone Park is the gray wolf (Canis lupus). The adult male gray wolf stands 26 to 38 inches high at the shoulder and is usually 40 to 58 inches in length (excluding the tail). Males are 15 to 20 percent larger than females. The weight of gray wolves varies from 40 to 175 pounds. Although the coyotes fur varies in color, the majority of adults have grizzled grey coats with a white underbelly, bushy tail, and reddish hair on their legs. On average, coyotes weigh between 30 and 40 pounds, about half that of a wolf.

22  Mule deer, also known as black-tail deer, are ideally suited to the rugged slopes of the Rocky Mountains. A large number inhabit the park in summer, but most migrate to lower elevations, or "winter range" outside the park in the winter.  Bald eagles are one of two species of eagle in Yellowstone, the other is the golden eagle. They are raptors and carnivores, seeking a diet of fish, waterfowl, rodents and small mammals. They also scavenge from the carcasses of large animals such as elk and bison.

23 Viewing Wildlife  Yellowstone's abundant and diverse wildlife are as famous as its geysers. Habitat preferences and seasonal cycles of movement determine, in a general sense, where a particular animal may be at a particular time. Early morning and evening hours are when animals tend to be feeding and thus are more easily seen.  Use binoculars or telephoto lenses for safe viewing and to avoid disturbing them. By being sensitive to its needs, you will see more of an animal's natural behavior and activity. If you cause an animal to move, you are too close!

24 Forest Fire in Yellowstone  The worst fire season in Yellowstone's history took place.  The worst fire season in Yellowstone's history took place.  Several small wild fires ignited in Yellowstone National Park. Initially they met the conditions of the prescribed natural fire policy and were allowed to continue burning  The conditions of the fires quickly changed  Nearly 800,000 acres of Yellowstone were burned in the summer.  The fires burned some 1.4 million acres in the Yellowstone ecosystem between June and October.  The fires burned some 1.4 million acres in the Yellowstone ecosystem between June and October.

25 Forest Fire in Yellowstone  On the worst single day, August 20, 1988, tremendous winds pushed fire across more than 150,000 acres spreading the fire  25,000 firefighters and $120 million dollars did little to stop the massive flames.  Yellowstone has an average of 22 fires each year.  Vegetation has adapted to fire and in some cases is dependent on fires.  Fire is a major role in the development of the unique ecosystem.

26 Wildfires  Landscapes such as those seen in Yellowstone have long been shaped by fire and not just the cool, creeping ground fires often described as "good" for grass production. The natural history of fire in the park includes large-scale conflagrations sweeping across the park’s vast volcanic plateaus, hot, wind- driven fires torching up the trunks to the crowns of the pine and fir trees at several hundred-year intervals.

27 Fire Adapting Plants  Many of Yellowstone’s plant species are fire-adapted. Some (not all) of the lodgepole pines (Pinus contorta), which make up nearly 80% of the park’s extensive forests, have cones that are serotinous sealed by resin until the intense heat of fire cracks the bonds and releases the seeds inside. Fires may stimulate regeneration of sagebrush, aspen, and willows, but the interactions between these plants and fire is complicated by other influences such as grazing levels and climate. Though above-ground parts of grasses and forbs are consumed by flames, the below-ground root systems typically remain unharmed, and for a few years after fire these plants commonly increase in productivity.

28 Wildfire of 1988  In the first sixteen years of Yellowstone’s natural fire policy ( ), 235 fires were allowed to burn 33,759 acres. Only 15 of those fires were larger than 100 acres, and all of the fires were extinguished naturally.  The summer of 1988 turned out to be the driest in the park’s recorded history. By July 15, only 8,500 acres had burned in the entire greater Yellowstone area. Still, due to continued dry conditions, on July 21 by which time fire activity had become noticeable to park visitors and to the national media the decision was made to suppress all fires. But within a week, fires within the park alone encompassed more nearly 99,000 acres, and by the end of the month, dry fuels and high winds combined to make the larger fires nearly uncontrollable.

29 Sources   


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